With the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select…
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow QB | LSU
College Football Playoff National Championship win, check; Heisman trophy winner, check; 2020 NFL Draft’s first overall pick, check. Bengals select the hometown kid as their new franchise quarterback.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young DE | Ohio State
Dwyane Haskins looks like a bust, but the Redskins can’t afford to pass on adding the best pass rusher and arguably the best player in the draft to a defensive line that already consists of former first round picks Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne and Montez Sweat. New head coach Ron Rivera must be licking his lips.
3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah CB | Ohio State
The Lions would love if Chase Young were still on the board, but that ain’t happening. The signing of Desmond Trufant to replace the traded Darrius Slay was solid but it was only a two-year deal. Corner remains a need and Okudah is the best available player on the board. Lining up Okudah opposite Trufant and allowing Justin Coleman to slide back into the nickel spot where he’s better suited, suddenly makes this one of the best secondaries in the league.
4. New York Giants: Jedrick Wills OL | Alabama
I’d love to see the Giants draft Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy here but that doesn’t seem like a Dave Gettleman type move. It’s more likely Gettleman grabs one of the top hog mollies in this years draft class to help both 2018 first-round pick Saquon Barkley and 2019 first-round pick Daniel Jones. Theres not much separating Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs from one another, but I’m going with Mills as the first offensive lineman off the board come draft day.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa QB | Alabama
Maybe not exactly what everyone thought “Tank for Tua” would look like, but sure enough Miami gets to select the quarterback everyone had linked to them since the end of the 2018-19 season.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert QB | Oregon
After 16 seasons with the Chargers Philip Rivers is now chucking footballs in Indiana and while he may be behind the best offensive line he has ever had in his career, he may be leaving the deepest Chargers team he would have ever been a part of. Tyrod Taylor is a serviceable bridge quarterback, but the Chargers are kidding themselves if they think he is the answer for more than half a season. (Just ask the Browns.) New stadium, new jerseys, and now a new face of the franchise in Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons LB | Clemson
Carolina needs playmakers at all three levels of the defense. With the early retirement of linebacker Luke Kuechly, the Panthers need a new leader on that side of the ball too. New head coach Matt Rhule covets speed. In steps Clemson’s Swiss Army Knife, Isaiah Simmons.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs OL | Iowa
Seeing Kyler Murray throwing passes to CeeDee Lamb again would have been awesome, but the Cardinals stealing DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans probably solves the need at receiver. Let’s go all in on Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense though and add Iowa’s lineman Tristan Wirfs to give Murray bookend tackles.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown DT | Auburn
It seems like just yesterday the Jaguars were moments away from winning the AFC Championship game and punching their ticket to Super Bowl LII. Almost every starting member of that dominant defense is now gone. Jacksonville enters rebuild mode and starts by adding to the defensive line with one of the top prospects still available, Auburn’s defensive tackle Derrick Brown.
10. Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas OL | Georgia
Cleveland has very few holes on its roster, but the one that sticks out like a sore thumb is left tackle. It would be great to see them trade for Washington’s Trent Williams, (and maybe they ultimately do), but since he’s still a Redskin at the time of this blog post, let’s give them Georgia’s Andrew Thomas at left tackle to pair with the recently signed Jack Conklin at right tackle. This Cleveland Browns team looks good on paper (and in their new uniforms). Can’t wait to see Baker Mayfield carry this team to another sub .500 record season.
11. New York Jets: Mekhi Becton OL | Louisville
Selecting Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb as a weapon for Sam Darnold is what I would do here, but new Jets GM Joe Douglas believes in beefing up the offensive line to protect Darnold, as shown by all of their terrible signings in free agency. Most mocks I’ve seen have Louisville’s Mekhi Becton going much earlier than this, even as soon as #4 to the Giants, but you never know what a failed drug test might do. There is going to be a run on tackles and receivers early. No way Becton gets past the Jets at 11.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy WR | Alabama
Mike Mayock has done a nice job in last years draft and this years free agency to get this Raiders roster looking respectable on paper as they get set to take over Sin City. Wide receiver is still a glaring need after the Antonio Brown debacle last season. We’ll see which receiver comes off the board first on draft day between Jeudy, Lamb and Ruggs III, but here the edge goes to the best route runner in the draft, Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy.
13. San Francisco 49ers: CeeDee Lamb WR | Oklahoma
The 49ers get this pick in the DeForest Buckner trade to Indy. Will they use it to replace Buckner (Javon Kinlaw or Ross Blacklock perhaps) or do they replace receiver Emmanuel Sanders who is now catching balls with the Saints? If they are truly all in on Jimmy Garoppolo then they need get him some help in the form of a true #1 receiver. CeeDee Lamb looks like the next DeAndre Hopkins and should have a similar impact in San Francisco.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier McKinney S | Alabama
Do the Bucs continue to add to this high powered offense? Many mocks I’ve seen have them going o-line to help protect the GOAT. If one of the top prospects is still on the board I can’t argue with that. This defense played well last season but why not turn to that side of the ball at pick #14, after all a team’s best offense is a good defense. The Bucs are still kicking themselves for passing on safety Derwin James a couple of years ago, so let’s get them a playmaker in the secondary, Alabama’s Xavier McKinney.
15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III WR | Alabama
I keep feeling like the Broncos have greater needs, but when I look at their roster and see their number two receiver spot being manned by some dude named Tim Patrick, I realize what has to be done. Denver is all in on Drew Lock and to ensure his success they have to continue to put weapons around him. As much as it pains me as an Eagles fan to see Lamb and Ruggs III off the board, I can’t see the top 3 receivers falling outside the top 15 picks.
16. Atlanta Falcons: Javon Kinlaw DT | South Carolina
Vic Beasley is out, Dante Fowler is in, yet rumor has it the Falcons are trying to trade up to land another disruptive defensive lineman. Adding South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw next to Grady Jarret with Fowler and Tak McKinley coming off the edge and suddenly Atlanta’s defensive line is no longer its achilles heel. Cornerback is another option here too with Florida’s C.J. Henderson still on the board in this scenario.
17. Dallas Cowboys: K’Lavon Chaisson LB | LSU
Dallas took a hit in the offseason mostly on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive end Robert Quinn is now a Chicago Bear and cornerback Byron Jones cashed in with the Dolphins. Dallas could also look at C.J. Henderson here if he’s still on the board, but it all starts in the trenches where the Cowboys need someone opposite Demarcus Lawrence to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. K’Lavon Chaisson is a popular pick I’ve seen here and I like it. The dude just looks like a young DeMarcus Ware.
18. Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift RB | Georgia
The Fins made a ton of moves in free agency on the defensive side of the ball and the only major weakness they still have is at safety but Xavier McKinney is already off the board in this scenario. This becomes a luxury pick here for the Dolphins who get their franchise running back in Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, to form a nice tandem with the recently signed Jordan Howard. Josh Jacobs went around here to the Raiders in last year’s draft and this feels like a similar type of move.
19. Las Vegas Raiders: Patrick Queen LB | LSU
It was tough to select LSU’s Patrick Queen here with Florida corner C.J. Henderson still on the board and the Raiders currently holding no second round pick, but this team has been looking for a difference maker at linebacker for a while now. Despite the Corey Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski signings in free agency, more help could be used at the position and Queen is just too good a prospect to pass up here.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson CB | Florida
It’s a pipe dream that Henderson lasts this long, he could be gone as early as the Jags first first round pick, but in this scenario the Jaguars are doing cartwheels having landed one of the top defensive lineman prospects and corner prospects in this years draft. Jacksonville has to replace the hole at corner with both Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye now gone.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson WR | LSU
The trade for Darius Slay probably takes the Eagles out of the cornerback market, at least in round 1. Linebacker is a huge weakness for this team but that’s not the type of position Howie Roseman is going to look to address at 21. Receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are declining due to age and injury history. The Eagles need some youth at the position and a new go to guy to grow with Carson Wentz. As an Eagles fan, I’d love to see Philly trade up to land CeeDee Lamb or Henry Ruggs III. If they stay put though and LSU’s Justin Jefferson happens to fall to them, I’d be good with that too.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Yetur Gross-Matos DE | Penn State
The Vikings aren’t rebuilding as much as they are retooling. Sure there are glaring needs on offense at receiver and offensive line and on the defense at cornerback and defensive line, but the Vikes have a plethora of draft picks this year including two in the first round. I know Mike Zimmer’s favorite position to draft in the first round is corner, and perhaps that is the case come draft day, but with the top 2 corners off the board Minnesota needs to look elsewhere. With Everson Griffin gone, grabbing a defensive end like Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos to pair with Danielle Hunter seems like a solid move.
23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love QB | Utah State
Tom Brady is a Buccaneer, leaving second year man Jarrett Stidham and journeyman Brian Hoyer as your only quarterback options for the 2020-21 season. I can’t see the Patriots not drafting a quarterback at some point in this draft but I’m not convinced it will ultimately be Utah State’s Jordan Love. I just don’t know where else to put him. I can see Love going to the Saints or Packers, but both of those teams seem all in to win now. Maybe someone ultimately trades back into the first round (Chargers or Colts?) to get this guy. If Tua starts sliding, I can easily see New England trading up for him. If not QB in round 1 for the Pats though, keep an eye on someone like Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet, pass rusher A.J. Epenesa or linebacker Zack Baun as they all scream the “Patriot Way.”
24. New Orleans Saints: Laviska Shenault Jr. WR | Colorado
The signing of Emmanuel Sanders was a solid move, which will help Sean Payton and Drew Brees make another run at it this season, but Sanders is on the wrong side of 30. If Saints aren’t thinking Brees successor here then giving him another weapon in the passing game is the way to go. Laviska Shenault Jr. out of Colorado was being discussed as the 4th best receiver in this class before opting to get surgery on a core muscle injury. Reports are he is fully healed so there’s no reason for him to be under the radar anymore.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Jaylon Johnson CB | Utah
One of the Vikings two first round picks has got to be a corner. Mike Zimmer would draft one in the first round every year if he could. I wanted to mock Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins here but this receiver class is so deep that they can probably get a stud in round 2. Utah’s Jaylon Johnson is the top cornerback on my board and should be a late first round pick.
26. Miami Dolphins: Austin Jackson OL | USC
All offense for the Fins in this mock draft. Franchise quarterback, running back and now franchise left tackle in one fell swoop. Joshua Jones is probably the better tackle prospect left on the board but he’s better suited for the right side. This might be a little early for USC’s Austin Jackson but the overall talent in this draft class starts to take a huge dip towards the end of the first round in my opinion, so don’t be surprised to start seeing some reaches for need around this time.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Ross Blacklock DT | TCU
Seahawks made some moves to add depth to their offense during free agency and can now use the draft to do the same to the front seven of their defense. Last year they went defensive end with L.J. Collier, this year I have them going defensive tackle with TCU’s Ross Blacklock.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray LB | Oklahoma
The glaring weakness on this Baltimore roster is at the linebacker position where they still haven’t replaced C.J. Mosley and have been hurting because of it. After seeing their division rivals scoop up Devin Bush in last years draft and reap the rewards, the Ravens can do the same with either LSU’s Patrick Queen or in this case Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray.
29. Tennessee Titans: Joshua Jones OL | Houston
Titans made a mistake not picking up Jack Conklin’s 5th year option and now he’s in Cleveland, leaving a huge hole at right tackle in Tennessee. If the Titans hope to see anything similar to the production they saw out of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry during the second half of last season (including playoffs) they need to make this right with the selection of Houston’s Joshua Jones.
30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk WR | Arizona State
Assuming Green Bay is all in on winning now with Aaron Rodgers, they need to get him some help. The Packers have been prioritizing defense in free agency and the draft over the last few years, so it’s now time to focus on the other side of the ball. Rodgers was at his best when he had Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb lining up alongside Davante Adams. With Nelson and Cobb long gone, we saw last year that a. Davante can’t do it all by himself every week and b. if Davante is out, who are you throwing too? Take advantage of this deep receiver class and grab the top wideout left on your board here. Mine is Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Raekwon Davis DT | Alabama
See pick #13. DeForest Buckner is suiting up in Indy now so bringing in another mammoth of a man in Alabama’s Raekwon Davis makes sense here. Another position they could look to address is corner.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Zack Baun LB | Wisconsin
The Chiefs are returning 20 of 22 starters from their Super Bowl 54 winning team, so they can really choose to go best player available here if they want. If they decide to do so, I have Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun as the next man up. Corner could use some love too though so maybe a guy like Jeff Gladney, Trevon Diggs or A.J. Terrell sneaks in as the fourth cornerback taken in the first round.